Sony Discos/Columbia Records is releasing Libre, the first Marc Anthony album since his 1999 English language debut (the RIAA triple platinum Marc Anthony) and the salsa-pop singing sensation's first salsa album since 1997's Contra La Corriente.
For Marc Anthony, Libre ("Free") is not merely a title for his eagerly-anticipated new salsa album. For this sensitive and progressive artist, Libre goes beyond an abstract term to experiment with; it means a state of being, the way he felt at the moment and time in which he conceived, created, wrote, produced, recorded and lived his new album. Yes, lived, because this album is seasoned with a lot of life!
The result of this meticulous work, done under a flag of freedom with no boundaries, is a fascinating conglomeration of nine beautiful and meaningful songs, all of them made for dancing with perfect blends of diverse Latin American rhythms.
On Libre, Marc Anthony not only delivers his usual powerful interpretation but also brings out a magnificent production full of intense lyrics and electrifying tunes that will have everybody moving to Marc's sounds.
"This is the most important salsa record of my career," says the New York native (born of Puerto Rican descent).
"I was born to make this album," Marc -- having co-written eight of Libre's tracks -- states with pride. "I feel so intense, so good about this album that I don't know if I will be able to make a better one."
This strong statement is rooted in the great effort, the hard work, the long hours and the passion that Marc Anthony put into the record during its eight months of production. After three years without recording a salsa album, Marc dedicated eight months exclusively to this project during which he went back and forth looking for the best sound, the best quality and a perfect musical fusion which never betrays the sound of traditional salsa.
Marc co-produced Libre with Juan A. Gonzalez, the pianist in his band.
"I co-produced the album with Juanito (Juan A. Gonzalez) because, after so many years of playing for me, I thought he knew me well enough to share and create together something with the same vision and a similar trend of thought," Marc says of the collaboration. "I also knew he could bring a young fresh air to the production."
Libre opens with the radio hit single "Celos" ("Jealous"), a song that evokes the salsa of the 1970s and the 1980s with an aggressive trombone arrangement but with today's salsa sound.
He starts the track "Viviendo" ("Living") with the feeling and the tenderness of a classic ballad before evolving into an up-lifting number. The sound of the virtuoso cuatro (a Puerto Rican folkloric guitar) playing of Yomo Toro is delightfully apparent in nearly all of Libre's songs, adding a spicy unique flavor to the album.
Marc includes a bolero prelude to the emotional salsa tune "Hasta Que Vuelvas Conmigo" ("Until You Come Back With Me"), almost as a tribute to the guitar trio era.
His soulful delivery colors a moving new version of "Barco A La Deriva" ("Boat To Drift"), a song that is marked here by the musical influence of Andean folk music.
Libre includes "De Que Depende" ("What Does It Depend On?"), a rhythmical tune that fuses Colombian music with salsa with stupendous results, especially with the sound of the accordion, an instrument rarely used in salsa songs.
In "Amor Aventurero" ("Adventurous Love"), a romantic little gem, Marc Anthony adds some strokes of Argentinean music with the finesse of a painter to create a tune of heartbreaking beauty.
With passion of a troubadour, Marc Anthony closes his album with "Caminare" ("I Will Walk"), a romantic bolero that ends in a powerful jam of rhythmic and emotional soneos (improvised lyrics).